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Old 06-29-2014, 10:16 PM   #337
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AXLE!!

I ordered a new axle a month or so ago. It arrived within less than a week.
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I was under the impression that it was to be a drop in installation but it arrived disassembled which means that the brakes and bearings were in a separate box and would need to be packed and assembled by me. Not insurmountable, but an additional bit of work to do. Perhaps this is because I ordered the 12" brakes, but it was annoying. When I asked for the instructions on how to assemble the axle, I was told that if I didn't know how to pack the bearing and mount the brakes, I should get someone knowledgable to do it for me. Not exactly the level of detail I was hoping for, but I can figure it out. I went online and found a bunch of info so I think I can do it. Before I started work, I decided to measure the axle to check the dimensions. It turned out that it was the wrong axle. After a few phone calls, the suppliers were able to arrange for a new axle to be shipped and the other one sent back free of charge. Within another week, I had my 3500 pound torsion axle and the dimensions were correct. Yeah!!
I jacked up the airstream, built some block towers and screwed them and positioned them under he main frame rail on each side.
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For extra safety, I put some tires under the back and a few jack stands in random places and then said goodbye to the old wheels forever, except one that I'll keep for a spare.
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Here's a look,at the old axle.
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A few weeks ago, I started spraying PB blaster on the main bolts. Three came off with my biggest crescent wrench but the 4th one took the help of my neighbors impact driver. I lowered it down with a floor jack without dropping it on my foot and here it is.
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Here is the newly exposed mounting plate.
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Old 06-29-2014, 10:47 PM   #338
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1980 20' Caravelle
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1980 Caravelle Shell Off Renovation

Axle part II.
Before I installed the axle, I filed in a few trim pieces with .032. I didn't like how the frame was so exposed in the wheel well so, I covered the edges with sheet aluminum and sealed any cracks with Vulkem. My wheel wells are 1/8" Al plate so I sanded the surfaces with 60 grit using my random orbit sander and then brushed on truck bed liner I bought at Lowes. I also did the same to the inside of my aluminum battery box. I tried to take a picture, but you can't see the black surfaces at all. I hope it is very durable.
Back to the axle, I did some measurements to figure out what I needed to do to the mounting plate. My supplier told me to use the rear holes for positioning. In order to fit the larger main tube, I used my angle grinder and a cutoff wheel to trim about 3/16" from each side and then used the abrasive grinding wheel to round the corner. Not a perfect job, but it should work. I then painted all the exposed metal. Of course, I was dirty during all of this, so. I don't have a good picture.
I was able to raise the axle into position bit by bit with stacked boards and some levers. When I got close, I was able to put in the back bolt on both sides and then used my floor jack to raise up the front until it was snug with the belly pan. I had to drill out the front hole using a 5/8" drill which cost $17!!! I only had to expand the hole a little, and I think I could have done it with my 1/2" bit that didn't cost $17. I painted the freshly exposed surfaces and put in the final bolts.
I forgot to take a picture because I got distracted by trying to put on the shocks. Another surprise... The shock mounting bolts are not aligned. On the front one (on the trailer), the shock will ride on the part between 1 and 2" from the main frame.
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However, on the back one(on the axle), the shock would ride between 2 1/2 and 3 1/2" from the main frame.
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I am no expert on shocks, but I think that they need to be parallel with the frame. I contacted my supplier and I hope they can help me.
I may go ahead and start assembling the wheel assembly since I can install the shocks later and if needed, I can easily drop the assembled axle. I wonder if I can get my supplier to pay for the welding??
Anyway, I wanted to have some progress so I rolled the wheels into position and took some pictures just for fun. If only, it was that easy to get rolling.
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Old 06-30-2014, 09:42 PM   #339
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I made some more progress on the axle. I used a cutoff wheel on the angle grinder to cut off the shock mount (left side of following pic)
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I polished the area flat, drilled a 1/2" hole and hen used a 4" bolt with various nuts and washers and a 9/16" x 1/2" bushing to create a 3" shock mount.
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I am much happier with the alignment now.


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Old 06-30-2014, 10:07 PM   #340
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1980 20' Caravelle
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1980 Caravelle Shell Off Renovation

Brake and bearing assembly:

I didn't see much about how to do this on airforums, so I thought I'd show how I did it. This is my first time, so any feedback is welcome.
First mounted the brake to the the axle with lock washers and nuts. It is important to keep grease off the brake pads and to keep everything clean. I used lots of paper towels and compressed air.
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I then put grease on the back bearing ( the bigger one). To do,this, you put a glob of grease on your hand and force it by pushing he bearing into your hand. When grease comes out the top, you rotate the bearing a bit and do it again until the whole bearing is full. Then repeat to the other side of the bearing to be sure it is full.
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I smeared some grease on the bearing seat on the inside of he brake drum. With grease all over the bearing, you put the bearing in place. Below is the installed back bearing and the grease seal nest to it before it is installed.
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The inner slot on the grease seal is also filed with grease and the grease seal is placed over the back bearing.
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To protect the seal, I used a board and a rubber mallet to drive it flush with the face of the drum.
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Some grease is smeared on the axle and then the drum is placed on the brake assembly carefully.
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Then the smaller front bearing is packed with grease and installed in the outer opening of the drum.
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Then the washer is placed over the axle and the final nut is screwed in. I don't have a pic of the installed nut (my photographer is 7 and she lost interest and my hands were covered in grease&#128516 but the nut and cotter pin are shown in this previous pic.
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I tightened the nut with an adjustable wrench and then backed it off and tightened it by hand until there was no play in the drum. I then installed the cotter pin and bent it over in front of the hub just as it was in the previous pic. I then installed the grease cap. This really did not take very long and was not that difficult, but I had to hunt around to find the process. If I made any mistakes, please tell me!
There is still a bit of a scraping sound which I think is the self adjusting brakes, but I am not certain. When I finally start towing, I'll check the temp often to make sure everything's OK. I welcome any suggestions or improvements to this process as I will plan to retune my bearings every year. I think I could do both wheels in an hour now that I understand the process.


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Old 06-30-2014, 10:21 PM   #341
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Had a great visit today by some new friends in SLC who go by Youngpeck on the forums. They wanted to check out my project as they are starting a renovation of their own. Not only did we have a great conversation, they brought me the coolest beer ever- Uinta Detour double IPA with an Airstream on the label. My wife immediately claimed the 4 pack holder for a condiment transport device.
http://www.uintabrewing.com/brews.php
Anyway, I am excited to watch their progress.



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Old 07-14-2014, 11:09 AM   #342
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LPG installation details

Working on correct sizing for my LPG lines. My Atwood water heater has a capacity of 8800 BTU and has a 3/8" inlet.
I found the following reference for LPG copper line sizing...
http://www.lp-gasequipment.com/produ...0_p157-175.pdf
With 3/8" line, and a 11" WC regulator, even with a 60' line, I would have capacity to run a 19,000 btu appliance with only a 1/2" pressure drop. With a 10' line, the capacity is 49,000 btu. This does not include bends, but I feel comfortable running a 3/8" line for the 10' back to the main branch. I will run 1/2" from the main regulator back to tees which will feed the SMEV gas stovetop, the newport Dickinson propane fireplace and the water heater. 3/8" will be plenty for all of these branches.
Going to half inch line doubles all the capacities roughly. The main half inch line will be less than 10' and would have a capacity of 110,000 btu, which seems like overkill, but should avoid pressure drops when running multiple appliances at once.
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Old 07-14-2014, 10:08 PM   #343
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Took my old axle to a metal recycler today. I made $20.10. I told my wife that the Airstream project is now making money. She didn't laugh.
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Old 07-17-2014, 03:13 PM   #344
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Just realized something I should have checked before shopping for copper tubing. In LPG, they use the OD of the tubing instead of the ID like they do for water lines. Took an extra trip to the hardware store.
I did some practice double flares on 3/8" tubing. It is important to keep everything lined up to get an even flare.
Here is the process as I understand it. This is 3/8" ID tubing which goes in the 1/2" hole on the flaring tool and uses the 1/2" die.
Place the tubing in the flaring tool and use the cutter to ream out a slight bevel on the interior.
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Use a fine file to smooth any burrs.
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Line up the top of the tube with the height of the outer ring on the die and tighten the wing nuts.
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The die goes in the tube
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The tool compresses the die until the die is flush with the top of the tool
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Remove the die and then make the 2nd flare with only the conical tool.
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This is what it looks like when you have the die crooked.
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This is what it looks like when it is centered properly.
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Now to do it on some real plumbing and drill some holes in the floor.
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Old 07-17-2014, 06:57 PM   #345
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Looks like you've got the copper tubing down no problem. I used 3/8" tubing branching from a 3/4" Black Iron main header, so the pressure drop and flow restriction is minimal, but I also do everything overkill. Honestly, the one thing I didn't want to restrict was the stove, because I like my coffee and the faster I can boil the percolator, the better.

Your flares look great, you didn't even need to practice

BTW, I laughed at the recycle joke. The logic is flawless...
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:49 PM   #346
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Double flares, more overkill perhaps?


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Old 07-17-2014, 09:03 PM   #347
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I believe that double flare is the standard for RV LPG copper lines.
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Old 07-17-2014, 09:08 PM   #348
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I have used the double flare for high pressure applications, like my Jeep brake lines, but was unsure of the need in a low pressure system like LPG, thus my question. I am currently running lines thru the floor prior to cabinet building.


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Old 07-17-2014, 09:14 PM   #349
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I think the need arises from the durability of the double flare to vibration. I agree that pressure is not the issue. I am basically quoting Lewster on this and he has way more experience than me.
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Old 07-22-2014, 11:24 PM   #350
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Attached the switching regulator the other day. Click image for larger version

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I am running 1/2" OD copper straight from there to appliances. Below each appliance there will be a T to a 3/8" copper line which will go through the belly pan and floor straight to the appliance. My super cheap custom bulkhead fitting goes through a 7/8" hole in the floor and bellypan. It is made from 1/2" conduit and a sawed off union fitting.
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ID:	217202. I simply glue one cap in place, run a bead of Vulkem around the lip and run it through the hole.
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Then the other cap is glue in place while squeezing the whole thing together. I usually leave the end long and cut it off with a back saw after the glue is dry. After I run the tubing through I will squeeze in some sealant that doesn't mess with copper.
I've run the 1/2" line so far and installed 3 bulkhead fittings for the fireplace, the stovetop and the water heater. I've run the line for the stovetop. Now I need to run the 3/8" line for the water heater and fireplace.


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